Brie Larson looks at the camera and asks, "Remember when driving was fun?," before she shifts gears and speeds down a desert road. But this isn't a trailer for the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
Unlike many of the vehicles that you see on TV, this very car was recently up for sale on Bring a Trailer. It was the public’s chance to own a 240Z that was fully restored, both inside and out. However, the car auction took an unexpected turn when the reserve price wasn't met.
The Datsun 240Z ad conjures up '70s nostalgia
Most car commercials feature brand new vehicles. Nissan took a different approach earlier this year when they featured Larson driving the vintage Datsun 240Z.
The nostalgia continued when clips of a '70s living room—complete with avocado green carpeting and a
Hot Wheelstrack—flash across the screen.
HotCarsrecently spilled the beans on the Datsun 240Z featured in Larson's commercial. Back in October 2020, the car was purchased on Bring a Trailer, presumably with the commercial in mind.
In preparation for filming, the car underwent an almost complete restoration. The carburetor, fuel pump, and 2.4-liter L24 inline-six engine were all rebuilt. The inside of the Datsun was also spruced up. The interior was painted and the black vinyl upholstery was replaced.
After filming wrapped up, the Datsun was up for sale again on
Bring a Trailer. The highest bid was $57,500, which did not meet the reserve price.
This might come as a shock to car collectors, as the car only had 80,000 miles. And, HotCars reported that Datsun 240Zs like this one usually do well at auction.
The final selling price for the 1971 Datsun 240Z promoted by Larson hasn't been publicly disclosed. According to a comment left by the seller on Bring a Trailer, the car sold offline, "for an acceptable amount that was above the highest bids here." No one was expecting that twist.
'Remember when driving was fun?'
It's no surprise that Nissan chose Larson as their spokesperson. She's not only an Oscar-winning actress and a professional singer, but she can also drive a stick shift. That's an important skill to have because manual transmissions came standard on the two-seater 240Zs.
MotorTrend, 240Zs were manufactured in the U.S. from 1969 through 1973. The vehicle was affordably priced at an MSRP of just over $3,500. In just four short years, more than 160,000 of these sports cars were sold domestically.
The earliest Datsun 240Z models, much like the one in Larson's commercial, are most sought after by avid car collectors.
Nissan continues to tap into the power of celebrity endorsements
Nissan is aware of the power of celebrity endorsements. Having well-known celebs support a brand leads to name recognition and, quite often, a boost in sales.
The automaker has teamed up with Cameo, an online marketplace that allows buyers to order personalized videos from celebrities. Erin Andrews, Clinton Kelly, Gabby Douglas, Misha Collins, and Dule Hill are all on board to create Q&A videos in response to customer’s questions about the Infiniti 2022 QX60. That's a fresh and innovative sales tactic that other automakers should take note of.
If you're shopping for a new car, perhaps a classic Datsun, you'll need insurance whether it's celebrity-endorsed or not. To compare rates from some of the biggest car insurance companies, be sure to check out